An Ominous Book by Nancy Foster @drafoxter #bookreview #fantasy #FridayReads


An Ominous Book

 

Title: An Ominous Book (An Ominous Book series, book 1)

Author: Nancy Foster

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Young Adult

 

Book Blurb:

Lord Spaulding’s life seemed perfect. The elusive mortal elf rules the Kasimma Clan and lives in the quaint but pleasant city of Tesafar. His perfectly stable life has ended up in haywire when his best friend Trevilin left two unwanted guests at his doorstep one autumn day: two orphan children from a disgraced noble family that just happen to be his long-lost blood relatives named Richard and Nelida Earlrose.

 

Spaulding must now find the way to bring these two children back to their nation and along the way, destroy a dangerous piece of sorcery that is hidden in his castle before King Salman and the Äimite guard find out.

 

My Review:

This book was a rollicking, fun, good time that is made for kids of all ages to enjoy!

 

You have elves, castles, magic, sword fights, magical beasts, criminals, danger, laughter, fun and adventure.  This would make an exceptional movie series or television show.  There is no bullying of the children and the fun tends to outweigh anxious parts, for the most part.

 

My favorite scene is the rescue of Richard from the criminals.  It is brilliant and I read it twice!  Just fantastic how the Water Sage used the sword to wipe out the criminals.

 

I didn’t care for Froylan or King Salman, for the most part.  The end of the book lost me.  I can’t comprehend how ******* (bleeped character name to avoid spoliers) becomes the most powerful witch/warlock and can destroy everything.  I didn’t enjoy the ending and that took this book from 5 stars to 4 stars.  Still, a fun read overall.

 

 

My Rating:  4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Ominous-Book-book-ebook/dp/B01M0BZF0E

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32478959-an-ominous-book

 

Author Biography:

I’m probably an oddball among authors because I never studied a liberal arts degree. I never gave writing any interest until I had an amusing concept for a YA fantasy book series and long story short, I started to write for fun. Before I knew it a little over a year later, I finished 6 novels of the series and have a 7th novel that remains half-finished.

When I’m not fighting with busted typewriters and filling out TPS reports, in my free time I go to weird places on vacation and love it!!! 😃

 

Social Media Links:

Blog http://anominousbook.blogspot.ca/

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/drafoxter

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Nancy-Foster/e/B01MF8UFOK/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Goodreads Author Page https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16064085.Nancy_Foster

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

Arm Candy (Hot City Nights Book 3) by Patricia Ryan is Seductive #romance #bookreview


Arm Candy

 

Title: Arm Candy (Hot City Nights Book 3)

Author: Patricia Ryan

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

Book Blurb:

David Waite, a wealthy British fundraiser in New York City, knows exactly how to please a woman, but he’s had enough of social climbers and users. His solution? “Arm candy,” a beautiful woman to accompany him as his regular date. She’s to serve as a dazzling accessory, not a prostitute or call girl, with no strings attached, either emotional or sexual. Then he sees Nora, and he finds himself overwhelmed with a craving for sweets…

 

Nora Armstrong is a wholesome, virginal beauty fresh from the Midwest. Her cousin asks her to go out with David Waite as a favor to advance his event planning business. She can’t say no, any more than she can say no when David asks for a second date, and a third… According to “arm candy” rules, she should be safe… until David decides to break the rules. Suddenly Nora realizes it’s a risky business, being this smoking hot Brit’s faux girlfriend… and falling in love.

 

Arm Candy is part of the Hot City Nights series of steamy romances with urban settings, but it can be read independently of the rest of the series. It is a full-length novel with no cliffhanger!

 

My Review:

David Waite, tired of dealing with Manhattan Social Climbers, decides to call in a favor from an event planner vying for his attention. David needs some “arm candy” for a fundraiser and Harlan (event planner) says he has the perfect woman for the job: his cousin, Nora.

 

Nora left behind her small town in the Midwest for the Big Apple. She has a talent for jewelry making and she’s determined to be successful. After spending hours on a train and beyond exhausted, she discovers what her cousin has arranged for her. She only agrees because it’s to help her cousin and his career … but the more “dates” she goes on with David, the more she cares for him. Even when sexual misunderstandings erupt between them and she gets attacked in Central Park, she can’t deny her feelings for David. Will she come clean and confess everything or will he forever keep her at arms length?

 

I’m a sucker for a small-town girl trying to make it in the big city romance and Arm Candy delivers that and more. Midwest Nora is the complete opposite of Brit David and yet brings out the best and worst in him. She challenges him in ways he’s never been challenged. He thinks her innocence is just an act but when he discovers it isn’t, she brings out his protective nature.

 

If I had to describe Arm Candy in one word, it would be: seductive. David and Nora lit my e-reader on fire with their attraction and secret trysts. The author weaves a tale of romance, lust, innocence and secret desires while giving an unexpected depth to the characters.

 

This was my first book by Patricia Ryan but let me tell you, it’s only the beginning. She’s a talented writer and I can’t wait to dive into another one of her books.

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Arm-Candy-City-Nights-Book-ebook/dp/B01K8RRUF2

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31438840-arm-candy

 

Author Biography:

Patricia Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen romances and mysteries, including the #1 national bestseller Still Life With Murder, written as P.B. Ryan. A RITA® winner and four-time nominee, she is also the recipient of two RT BookReviews Awards. Subscribe to her newsletter by visiting https://patricia-ryan.com .

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

The Temptation of Dragons by Chrys Cymri is Superb! #fantasy #bookreview #dragons


Penny-White-and-the-Temptation-of-Dragons 2

 

Title: The Temptation of Dragons

Author: Chrys Cymri

Genre: Fantasy, Dragons

 

Book Blurb:

Bishop Nigel smiled at me. ‘Holy water doesn’t harm vampires. Which is just as well, as it would make it impossible to baptise them.’

 

When I was asked by a dragon to give him the last rites, I never dreamed it would lead to negotiating with his cannibalistic family or running from snail sharks. Life as the priest of a small English village is quite tame in comparison. At least I have Morey, a gryphon with sarcasm management issues, to help me. And if all else fails, there’s always red wine and single malt whisky.

 

As if my life weren’t complicated enough, a darkly beautiful dragon named Raven keeps appearing where I least expect him, I’ve met a handsome police inspector who loves science fiction as much as I do, and my younger brother is getting into trouble for trying to pick up vampires.

 

That’s what happens when you’re dealing with an incredible and dangerous parallel world full of mythical creatures. And I have to learn to navigate it all without losing myself, or my brother…

 

My Review:

One of the most imaginative and unique fantasy books I’ve read in a long time.

 

Reverend Penny White is a priest in a small English village. Life as a priest is far from exciting, or so Penny thought. On her way home, she sees a car accident and ends up giving last rites to a very large dragon hidden in the shadows. Yes, a dragon. A chance encounter that changes Penny’s life forever.

Now, she’s dealing with adjusting to an alternative world (located ironically in Wales) and all of its paranormal inhabitants. Watching Doctor Who and Buffy the Vampire Slayer didn’t prepare her for this. Working full-time as a priest and part-time in Lloegyr, helping when needed. But when she meets Raven, brother to the dragon she gave last rites to, sparks fly in the most unusual way. Will Penny give into her feelings for Raven while keeping up with the two worlds she’s straddling or will she reject it all for the quiet village priest existence she craves?

 

In order to give this book justice, I must share the thoughts I had when reading:

 

“Wow, the worldbuilding is so superb, so descriptive, I want to live there and brush up on my Welsh.”

 

“The dialogue is classic British cosy fiction with modern cultural references (Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, twerking, Sherlock Holmes, etc.) and told from Penny’s viewpoint. BBC, if you’re reading this, pick up the rights to this literary series right away so millions of us can watch this on the telly. Oops, my British accent got the better of me.”

 

“The slow-burning attraction between Penny and Raven was addictive. I had to keep reading to find out what happened next.”

 

“Penny’s relationship with her associate, Morey (named after Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes), made me laugh out loud. He’s a riot and when he disappears, it’s Penny (and a lovable snail shark) who restores him to his sarcastic self.”

 

“Penny White is not your pious priest; she’s human like all of us and it’s her humanity that is at the heart of this story.”

 

If you’re a fan of fantasy with doses of humor, please don’t hesitate and pick up this book. You’ll be swept away by the mythical creatures (including dragons), humorous dialogue, adventure and one priest who’s always been intrigued by dragons. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

 

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the author in the hopes I’d review it.

 

My Rating:  5+ stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Temptation-Dragons-Penny-White-Book-ebook/dp/B01DOGQ3HU

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29773163-the-temptation-of-dragons

 

chrys C

 

Author Biography:

Priest by day, writer at odd times of the day and night, I live with a small green parrot called Tilly because the upkeep for a dragon is beyond my current budget. Plus I’m responsible for making good any flame damage to church property. I love ‘Doctor Who’, landscape photography, single malt whisky, and my job, in no particular order. When I’m not looking after a small parish church in the Midlands (England) I like to go on far flung adventures to places like Peru, New Zealand, and North Korea.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/chryscymri?fref=ts

 

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/110523446882510437499

 

Tumblr http://chryscymri.tumblr.com/

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1076161.Chrys_Cymri

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Stillness by Eldon Farrell Will Appeal to #RobinCook Readers! #bookreview #medicalthriller #books


stillness

 

Title: Stillness

Author: Eldon Farrell

Genre: Medical Mystery / Thriller

 

Book Blurb:

Some secrets won’t stay buried…

 

When people start to succumb to a virulent strain of plague in the seemingly idyllic hamlet of Stillness, the CDC is called in to investigate. Pulled from her training with the Epidemic Intelligence Service, Dr. Lynne Bosworth is tapped to head the investigation.

 

Many questions surround the outbreak, not the least of which is how did plague find its way to the heartland of America? Determined to find the answers and her own way out of the long shadow cast by her father, Lynne embarks for Iowa. Unable to isolate an index case of bubonic plague, patient zero is traced to Nikolai Markov; an old Russian bio warfare scientist.

 

Rumors of a bioterror attack are rampant.

 

Under examination, the bacteria present Lynne with many anomalies but few answers. The antibiotic resistance noted in the field is absent in the lab, while a synthetic gene is found that seemingly has no purpose. For her superiors it’s enough to deem the outbreak a biological attack, a conclusion that Lynne does not share. For her, something about the whole incident remains…elusive.

 

In search of evidence to either prove or disprove the bioterror claim, she crosses paths with FBI Special Agent Caleb Fine. Together, they come to believe that something other than a biological attack is going on in Stillness, and that the answer to what may lie in solving the fifteen-year-old murders of Bobby and Maggie Sullivan.

 

As the body count rises and the pressure mounts, they delve deeper into the shadowy past of this quiet town; in the process exposing secrets long thought forgotten until finally uncovering the shocking truth behind the cause of the outbreak.

 

 

My Review:

The resident of Stillness, a small town in America’s Heartland, are under attack and no one is immune to this virus. The CDC is called in to investigate, led by Dr. Lynne Bosworth. While the CDC assumes it is a biological attack, Lynne thinks otherwise. Teamed up with FBI Agent Caleb Fine, she’s determined to get to the bottom of this mysterious outbreak. As the body counts rise, she knows she’s running out of time. Will she discover the culprit even if it means exposes long buried secrets and ruining her career or will she toe the CDC political line?

 

I’m a big fan of medical thrillers and Stillness kept me guessing until the very end. Filled with intriguing characters and multiple story lines, Stillness read like a HBO television series. Descriptive, well-researched medical backdrop reminded me of Robin Cook while the heart-stopping plot twists reminded me of Michael Crichton. Some of the transitions were abrupt and I got lost a few times so I had to drop it from five stars to four.  I couldn’t put it down and the subject matter is relevant in today’s scientific and political society. Well done, Farrell. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author in the hopes I’s review it.

 

Favorite Character: I found I could relate with Dr. Lynne the greatest and while she dealt with a huge amount in a short time, it was believable. Emotional angst is high but that seemed to solidify my connection with her. Strong-willed, logical and brave, she’s my kind of thriller heroine.

 

Favorite Quote: The world never really ends, no matter how dark it gets, the light of humanity never goes out. It will always chase away the darkness that is forever there inside each of us.

 

My Rating:  4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Stillness-Eldon-Farrell/dp/1533404526

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30301910-stillness

 

Author Biography:

Eldon Farrell was born in Guelph, Ontario, growing up just down the road in Brantford. A designated professional accountant, he’s a graduate of both Fanshawe College and Laurentian University. He still resides in South Western Ontario together with his lovely wife Emily and their young son Connor. An avid reader and writer of suspense fiction, he is a lover of language and an unapologetic fan of DC Comics. Stillness is his first published piece of fiction.

 

Social Media Links:

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15147838.Eldon_Farrell

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Eldon-Farrell/e/B01DTBSLNE

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

#FridayReads: Aaden BlueStar by @authorGaughan #YA #scifi #bookreview


Aaden Bluestar

 

Title: Aaden BlueStar: The Awakening (Aaden BlueStar series Book 1)

Author: David Gaughan

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

At fifteen, Aaden Greene is imbued with extraordinary powers after a freak incident. Astounded by his powerful abilities he’s also confused by the terrifying vision of the monstrous apparition that appears before him at the time of his metaphysical awakening. Struggling to blend his ordinary life with visions of other lifetimes in extraterrestrial realms, he discovers his connection with an ET who has come to save our world. What amazes him most is the connection between the charismatic E.T. with whom he has been closely connected throughout the ages and his father, a Senator running for President on an environmental ticket. With each heart-pounding moment, the ensuing battle between the extraterrestrial BlueStar Beings and the formidable entity of Aaden’s earlier vision requires them to join forces to combat that negative energy. With an environmental backlash, the future of Earth and the survival of the human race depend on their success.

 

My Review:

In a flash of lightning, fifteen-year-old Aaden’s life is forever changed. Climbing a tree trying to get a prized baseball, Aaden gets struck by lightning. His friends worry but by some miracle, he’s not dead. Instead, he’s awakened latent powers and scary visions. His powers come in handy at school and home but trying to appear “normal” gets harder and harder.

 

Meanwhile, there’s an extraterrestrial war taking place just north of Earth, somewhere near Mars. A dark force is trying to infiltrate Earth and it’s up to the Bluestar beings to stop it. But they need help to avoid this environmental disaster so they call on Aaden and his family. The future of Earth is in their hands. Can Aaden use his natural abilities and skills to defeat the enemy or is the fate of humanity doomed?

 

I really loved this unique science fiction book. Who knew that lightning could “awaken” alien powers? Aaden and his friends are portrayed realistically yet in modern times. I loved the extraterrestrial dynamics and politics which added to the believability of the plot. Filled with all kinds of action, dramatic tension and meaningful messages, this is a fantastic read! While I found the environmental sub-plot a tad heavy-handed, it made sense considering the rest of the story.

 

I highly recommend this book to ages 12 and up for complexity of the English language as well as situations. Both teens and adults will enjoy this clean science fiction adventure.

 

Favorite Character: Aaden. He’s such a delightful character to read. His witty nature and honest inner thoughts make him come alive off the page. I enjoyed the way he dealt with his school rival (not quite a bully but close). Someone who anyone can relate to and a joy to read.

 

Favorite Quote: “There’s power in numbers,” said Adam. “The more people with the same positive thought, the more powerful the effect.”

 

My Rating:  4.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Aaden-BlueStar-Awakening-Book-ebook/dp/B00RIMSS6G

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32141790-aaden-bluestar

 

Author Biography:

Born on the same day and month as Mark Twain, this Sagittarius has always been the explorer, not only in world travel pursuits but also alternative fringe subjects.

 

Having climbed the Great Pyramid of Cheops (and getting arrested doing so), some of his other world experiences included riding camels in the Sahara Desert, white-water rafting at the top of the Ganges river, fire walking on a weekend retreat, hot air ballooning in the Cappadocia Region in Turkey and visiting ashrams in Northern India. Much of David’s overseas travel has been fueled by his keen interest in metaphysical subjects. In his earlier years he witnessed, along with three other people, a sighting of a UFO mother ship and four smaller craft, and that was the catalyst for him to research that subject, also in connection with established world viewpoints and how ancient prophecies might hold the clue to our past and future. Having had close friends and relatives affected by ill health, David’s writing incorporates a wide variety of subjects, from natural healing techniques and alternative living guidelines through to fictional works for both young and older readers, his writing influenced by the rich tapestry of life experiences.

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/authorGaughan

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13428937.David_Gaughan

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KDZKOM

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

If You Were Me and Lived in … the Ancient #Mali Empire by @CarolePRoman #bookreview #kidlit


IYWM Mali Empire

 

Title: If You Were Me and Lived in…the Ancient Mali Empire

Author: Carole P. Roman (Author), Mateya Arkova (Illustrator)

Genre: Children’s Books, Ancient History, Mali Empire

 

Book Blurb:

Join Carole P. Roman as she travels back in time to visit the exciting Ancient Empire of Mali in Africa during the 1300s. Learn about the varied customs and cultures. Travel to the past to discover what you would eat and do for fun. See the land and its rich history through the eyes of a youngster like you.

 

Don’t forget to look at the other books in the series so that you can be an armchair time traveler.

 

My Review:

Carole P. Roman is back with one of her most informative and insightful books in her historical/cultural series to date. She’s thrusting us into the ancient empire of Mali in the 1330’s AD. So sit tight and travel back in time to 14th century Sudan.

 

Mali started as a small part of the kingdom of Ghana but soon rebelled against the government and became their own kingdom.

 

With strong leadership, Mali took control of trade routes and soon became a mecca for trade and wealth.

 

Many in the Mali Empire followed the religion of Islam.

 

Houses were made from mud bricks and adobe plaster. The earthen walls cooled the inside which was handy since there wasn’t any air conditioning.

 

Since there was no written language, history was told by storytellers (griots). They were well-respected among the people and the king.

 

The most respected job was that of the farmer. They tended the fertile land near the river and provided food for everyone.

 

Although Mali was known for its gold, it did not produce or mint coins. Instead, salt was traded for goods in the marketplace. Only the king could use gold nuggets for trade.

 

When I first saw this book, I had no prior knowledge of the Mali Empire. It intrigued me and I’m so thankful to Carole P. Roman for spotlighting this ancient empire. I learned so much, more than I ever thought possible, and I know many children and adults will enjoy this book, too.

 

While this book is almost eighty pages, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It’s stuffed with many fascinating facts about what life was like in Mali and a fantastic educational resource. Both classroom and homeschool teachers will want this as part of their curriculum. I highly recommend this one!

 

My Rating:  5+ stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Were-Lived-Ancient-Mali-Empire-ebook/dp/B01N7OT0PM

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33405623-if-you-were-me-and-lived-in-the-ancient-mali-empire

 

cpr

 

Author Biography:

Named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2012 for her first book, award winning author Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons. Using an imaginary game she played with her grandson as a base, Captain No Beard was born. “Captain No Beard- An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life” has not only been named to Kirkus Best of 2012, it received the Star of Exceptional Merit, and won the Pinnacle Award for 2012. “Pepper Parrot’s Problem with Patience” Book 2 in the series, received 5 Stars from The ForeWord Review The Clarion Review. Strangers on the High Seas has won second place in the Rebecca’s Reads Choice Awards 2013. It has followed with six more books to the series. This year, Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis was named to Kirkus Best 2015. The entire cultural non-fiction series If You Were Me and Lived in… was named Best Series by Shelf Unbound. She has begun work on two new series that will be released in early 2016.

 

Motivated by her love of yoga, Roman has written a book that not only teaches four poses, but shows how easy and accessible yoga can be.

 

 

Her new non-fiction series, “If You Were Me and Lived in…” combines her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us. The debut book in the series, “If You Were Me and Lived in…Mexico” has won the Pinnacle Award for Best in Children’s Non Fiction 2012. France, South Korea, and Norway. Rebecca’s Reads has given If You Were Me and Lived in…Norway an honorable mention in the 2013 Choice Awards. If You Were Me and lived in …France won second place. ForeWord Review has nominated If You Were Me and Lived in…France for best in children’s non fiction literature 2013. They will be followed with Kenya, Turkey, India, and Australia. She plans to do Portugal, Greece, and Argentina next year.

 

 

Writing for children has opened up a whole second act for her. While she is still working in her family business, this has enabled her to share her sense of humor as well as love for history and culture with the audience she adores. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://caroleproman.com/  

 

Blog http://caroleproman.blogspot.ca/  

 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CarolePRomanAwardWinningAuthorAndBooks  

 

Twitter https://twitter.com/caroleproman  

 

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/caroleproman/

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

The Dance of the Violin by @TheKathyStinson #bookreview #kidlit #TuesdayBookBlog


The Dance of the Violin

 

Title: The Dance of the Violin

Author: Kathy Stinson

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Music

 

Book Blurb:

As a young student of the violin, Joshua Bell learns about an international competition to be held in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He chooses a piece of music, which his teacher suggests may be too difficult, but Joshua is determined. It’s a piece of music he loves. At the competition, Joshua experiences the usual jitters. Once his name is called, he strides to the stage and begins to play, but almost immediately, he makes a mistake. As he is about to walk off the stage, he asks the judges if could try again. They agree, and this time, the playing is impeccable. Dušan Petricic’s brilliant illustrations full of movement and color, capture the sounds made by Joshua’s violin, from the missed notes to the swirling, uplifting strains of the perfectly executed piece. Children will readily empathize with Joshua’s misstep, but they will also learn that there is always a second chance.

 

“When I learned how 12-year-old Joshua Bell dealt with failure at a competition he’d prepared hard for, I knew it was a story that would inspire anyone, young or not so young, who has dared, or might dare, to try doing something difficult.” — KS (author)

 

My Review:

Joshua Bell loves music and he takes anything he finds around the house and creates music. He’s also learning to play the violin. When he learns of a competition, he chooses a composition many feel is above his head. Does that stop him? No way! When he walks on stage and begins, he makes a mistake. Swallowing hard, he asks the judges if he can try again. Will he embrace his inner musician or will his performance be an utter failure?

 

Based on the real-life story of Violinist Joshua Bell, The Dance of the Violin is beautiful. Failure is something that all of us can relate to, especially children. Learning a new instrument, especially a violin, can be tricky but when you have a musical heart, it’s a matter of letting the music take over.

 

This inspirational story of persevering touched me deeply, as much as the colourful illustrations did. There’s a musical lilt to the illustrations that pair wonderfully with the words to create a masterpiece. I highly recommend this book, especially for those who love music.

 

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from Annick Press Ltd. Via Netgalley in the hopes I’d review it.

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/1554519004/?tag=kathystinson

Amazon CA http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/1554519004/kathystinso0a-20/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31213576-the-dance-of-the-violin

 

Author Biography:

Kathy Stinson, author of internationally acclaimed Canadian children’s classic, Red is Best, also writes novels, short stories, and nonfiction for young people of all ages.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.kathystinson.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kathy-Stinson/50430045523

Twitter https://twitter.com/TheKathyStinson

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/TheKathyStinson

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/thekathystinson/

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

The New Irish Table – Recipes from Ireland’s Top Chefs by @Imagine_CB #bookreview #Irish


irish-table

 

Title: The New Irish Table – Recipes from Ireland’s Top Chefs

Author: Leslie Conron Carola

Genre: Travel, Cooking, Food & Wine

 

Book Blurb:

Ten award-winning chefs dismantle the stereotype of Irish cuisine being a boil, a fry, or soda bread. Highlighting fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients from provinces across the Emerald Isle, this beautiful, photo-illustrated collection offers inspirational Irish recipes.

 

An Irish meal must nourish the soul as well as the body, teasing each of the senses. Home cooks are invited into each featured chef’s restaurant and/ or home to experience recipes that utilize fresh fish, lamb, beef, pork, fruits, and vegetables, and of course, Ireland’s renowned cheeses.

 

Celebrating the new Irish food culture, this compilation emphasizes local resources, simple fare, and the highest standards, proving that Ireland is a modern food destination.

 

My Review:

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, my thoughts gravitate towards Irish food and my Irish ancestors. I came across this cookbook and was instantly intrigued.

 

Filled with amazing recipes paired with photographs that make you drool, this cookbook is a must-own. These award-winning chefs invite the reader into their kitchens where they share their culinary expertise in Irish cuisine. I loved the recipes, though they are more geared for experienced cooks.

 

Ireland is home to some of the best chefs in the world and in this book, the Emerald Isle is clearly a culinary destination spot. This book makes a great gift, especially for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

 

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from Imagine (Charlesbridge Publishing) via Netgalley in the hopes I’d review it.

 

My Rating:  4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1623545242/

 

Barnes and Noble http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?EAN=9781623545246

 

Indiebound Bookstore http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781623545246?aff=NetGalley

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30208610-the-new-irish-table

 

Author Biography:

Leslie Conron Carola, owner and director of Arena Books Associates, LLC, has produced many illustrated books, including Ireland: A Luminous Beauty; Spectacular Ireland, and Ireland’s Treasures with Peter Harbison. She lives in Westport, Connecticut.

 

Social Media Links:

Publisher Website https://charlesbridge.com/

Publisher Twitter https://twitter.com/Imagine_CB

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Halito Gianna by Becky Villareal @bvillareal is a #Kidlit Gem! #bookreview #books


halito-gianna

 

Title: Halito Gianna (Gianna the Great Book 2)

Author: Becky Villareal

Genre: Children’s Literature, Multiculturalism, Genealogy

 

Book Blurb:

Halito means hello in Choctaw but Gianna was not to find that out for a long time. This feisty young girl discovers more about her family than she ever envisioned and can’t wait to share what she has found out! Come along for the journey!

 

My Review:

Gianna is an energetic 4th grader who is trying to find out more about her family’s roots. She knows she first came to America from Mexico but is cautious to ask her mum for more details. But when her teacher announces there’s going to be a Halloween costume contest, Gianna screws up the courage to ask her mum about her father. Her mum shares what she knows and even offers a few clues for Gianna to follow-up on.

 

The next day, before Gianna can investigate her father in her school’s genealogy database, she meets a new student named Aponi. Gianna is friendly and helps Aponi on her first day of school. They get to talking and find out Aponi is Native American and speaks Choctaw. They become fast friends and by sheer coincidence, could be long-lost family.

 

A delightful chapter book filled with colorful cartoon illustrations which teaches children many valuable lessons: family, hardship, history, kindness, friendship, getting along with others and discovering your ancestral roots. I found myself rooting for Gianna as she tries to discover the truth about her father and what happened to him.

 

I highly recommend this book to both parents and children. It’s a fun way to start a conversation about where families come from and how important it is to cherish our heritage. It’s also a fantastic book about kindness and being nice to others.

 

I look forward to reading more from this author. She’s a talented writer and certainly knows her audience.

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author in the hopes I’d review it.

 

Favorite Character: Gianna. She’s such a lovable little girl who speaks like a 4th grader speaks. With her bubbly personality, I had a smile on my face as I read. She’s a real character with an insatiable thirst for knowing more about her family and her father.

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Halito-Gianna-Great-Book-ebook/dp/B01HBRRGBA

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28375564-halito-gianna

 

Author Biography:

Becky Enriquez Villareal was born in Dallas, Texas in 1954 to missionary parents. She grew up in several different Texas towns including McKinney. For twenty years, she has been teaching early childhood in Dallas Independent School District. For the past ten years, she has been completing family research. The grandmother of three she enjoys writing and spending time with her family.

 

Social Media Links:

Website https://giannathegreat.wordpress.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/beckyreadsbooks/

Twitter https://twitter.com/bvillareal/

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/beckyreadsbooks/

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/beckyreads/

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

From a Poison Pen – Volume II by @BPSmythe #bookreview #horror #macabre


from-a-poison-pen-volume-ii

 

Title: From a Poison Pen – Volume ii

Author: B. P. Smythe

Genre: Thriller, Macabre, Horror, Short Stories

 

Book Blurb:

From the extraordinary mind of B.P. Smythe comes a compilation of short stories.

 

This collection of dark, humours and macabre tales explores the disturbing side of human nature.

 

From a Poison Pen II is the second book of collected short stories in the trilogy.

 

My Review:

Not as strong as the first book but there are some extraordinarily good stories in this volume. Be warned: there is one story with graphic sexual descriptions and one story with language that could be offensive (18+). This author is brilliant at short stories.  When he extends the stories to lengthy pieces, he tends to lose his way. It will be highlighted in the individual story reviews.  A decent read with good macabre writing throughout.  Not to read when eating * although I read most of it while eating lol *.

 

Story 1 – Short, sweet, brilliant 5/5 – the retelling of a horror classic done with panache.

 

Story 2 – Too long and disjointed and meandering. 1/5 – If the story was going to be this long, then for me, I needed to see the terrorist slowly and painfully cut to bits.  That would have raised this up two points alone.

 

Story 3 – A strong effort 4/5 – Good pacing, pure evil then pure vengeance. Well done if a tad long.

 

Story 4 – Confusing 1/5 – Unsatisfying story, never knew who was what and they never flew B-52s in WW2.

 

Story 5 – 1/5 * DISCLAIMER * The frequent use of the N-word may be disturbing and offensive to many readers (it was to me). More of a novella again.   This was way too long, too complicated, too many offensive scenes using the N-word and hard to understand.

 

Story 6 – Excellent! 5/5 With a fantastic finish and amazing surprise ending.  A brilliant work and the BEST in this book.

 

Story 7 – Brilliant ghost story 4/5 – Well written and engrossing.  Warning:  There is a graphic sex scene in this story so 18+ is recommended.  The two friends are great characters and the hauntings are spectacular.  This would have been 5 out of 5 but for the ending.  It wasn’t clear and not satisfying and frankly, I didn’t get it.

 

Story 8 – Short and blasé 3/5 – The main character is quickly shown to the reader as a total AHE.  (the author has the gift of doing that very well and to quickly convey a strong negative feeling for a character is a gift).  The story just meandered and was a very unsettling and unsatisfying ending.

 

My Rating:  3 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Poison-Pen-ii-B-P-Smythe-ebook/dp/B01LFM1032/

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poison-Pen-ii-B-P-Smythe-ebook/dp/B01LFM1032

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31861604-from-a-poison-pen—volume-ii

 

B. P. Smythe

 

Author Biography:

I studied engineering at Carshalton College and eventually became a member of the Institute of Quality Assurance.

My engineering career took on many roles including toolmaking and being a technical writer for an artificial limb manufacturer. However, I’ve always enjoyed putting pen to paper while raising quality manuals and writing reports. I also write tennis articles for my local county magazine and relax reading crime and horror fiction. This, coupled with my technical writing career, partly influenced my transition into creative writing.

 

Wanting to expand my writing knowledge, I obtained a Level 3 / NCFE Certificate / PI410 creative writing diploma.

 

Sow And You Shall Reap – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/145677171X is my first self- published novel. However, I have submitted numerous short stories for internet competitions including, winning £100 as first prize for my A Rose Without a Thorn for the http://www.spinetinglerspublishing online magazine and winning £50 first prize for my We’ll Meet Again in the http://dark-places.co.uk online magazine.

 

Two of my other short stories, Love Me Do and My Secret Place, have also been published in the printed Litro Magazine – Issue 140 – ISBN 978-0-9554245-5-7 http://www.litro.co.uk/2015/02/litro-140-diaries/

 

Near the end of 2015 I fortunately obtained a three book deal contract with Bloodhound Books http://www.bloodhoundbooks.com to publish a trilogy of macabre/thriller collected short stories. My first book titled – ‘From a Poison Pen’ is the first book of the trilogy and highlights from the stories – What happens when a member of the Hitler youth ends up in a concentration camp? How does a beach side cocktail get in the way the way of one woman’s scheming? What leads a teenage girl to reign down fire and brimstone? When a doctor buries his mistake, can he get away with it?

 

This collection of dark, humorous and macabre tales explores the disturbing side of human nature.

 

To purchase ‘From a Poison Pen’ Go to amazon.co.uk for the Kindle and paperback editions…

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Poison-Pen-collection-macabre-stories-ebook/dp/B01BKWT4EE

 

Favourite books:

The Shining by Stephen King

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

Psycho by Robert Bloch

 

Other links to B.P.Smythe for his books – go to:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Poison-Pen-collection-macabre-stories-ebook/dp/B01BKWT4EE

http://www.amazon.com/Sow-Shall-Reap-B-P-Smythe/dp/145677171X

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12044547-sow-and-you-shall-reap

http://authorsonshow.com/2011/09/18/contest-entries/

http://www.authorsden.com/barrysmythe

 

Sow and You Shall Reap

by B P Smythe. available COPIES on Amazon Kindle and paperback. Isbn:9781456771713

 

Contact info:

B.P.Smythe

40 Saint Margaret’s Avenue,

North Cheam, Surrey.

SM3 9TT

 

e.mail: barrysmythe@hotmail.com

 

Social Media Links:

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5043570.B_P_Smythe

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/BPSmythe

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

Outside the Walls by Diana L. Wicker @feyrontales and A. L. Butcher #bookreview #FridayReads


outside-the-walls

 

Title: Outside the Walls

Author: Diana L. Wicker, A. L. Butcher

Genre: Fantasy, Short Story

 

Book Blurb:

When the tide of war flows many are caught in its wake. Who will gain entry to the city and who will be forced to remain outside the walls?

 

A short fantasy tale of love, loyalty and courage in war.

 

My Review:

Can one woman change her kingdom just by being kind to those deemed useless?

 

War has come to Havenforth and while her husband is off fighting, Duchess Eleanor is home, safe and sound behind the town walls. But this war has created such destruction that refugees are flocking to be let inside the walls and the Council has taken over the government. The Council will only allow in those refugees who serve a purpose for them and can work for food, clothing and shelter. The rest of the refugees, namely women, children and elderly, are deemed useless and must not be let in.

 

After hearing about their plight, Eleanor takes matters into her own hands and brings food, clothing and medicine out to the poor refugees not allowed in. She takes a wagon plus her cousin and a captain to help. Her kindness to these war-torn people is felt and the more people she tries to help, the more she sees the cost of war.

 

What a beautiful story that moved me to tears more than once. We’ve all heard the term war but I don’t think we really know what effects it has on the defenceless. Both authors do a magnificent job plunging the reader into the heart of both Eleanor and the refugees. My heart broke for the refugees and Eleanor’s kindness moved me to tears.

 

A short story that’s reflecting what’s going on in the world today. I highly recommend!

 

Favorite Character: Eleanor. I loved how brave and fearless she is. To disobey the Council and go help those less fortunate outside the walls is something that women (especially duchesses) just don’t do but that doesn’t stop Eleanor. With every person she meets, her heart goes out to them and in my books, that is the heart of a ruler.

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B014G6X9FG/

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outside-Walls-Diana-L-Wicker/dp/1517716381

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/outside-the-walls-alexandra-butcher/1122908003?ean=2940152444599

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/outside-the-walls/id1055459135?mt=11

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/589416

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26164762-outside-the-walls

 

Author Biography:

Diana L. Wicker is an indie author living in the balmy climate of the US south with her family and fur babies (a dog, a cat, and a cantankerous rabbit). She enjoys reading, sewing, cosplay, being a studio mom for dance school, and RPG games. (She grew up with the old school paper/pencil style of gaming, but has transitioned happily to the highly interactive world of video games.) And, as if she had more time to spare, she has invested in Asian ball jointed dolls to customize into characters from Feyron.

The idea for Feyron started with a map, a place for her daughter to tell stories and live out storytelling role-playing adventures with her friends. The lore grew around the map, for every world needs lore if you are going to “live” there. The idea for a series, Tales from Feyron, grew out of the lore, for if you’re going to invent a world, you may as well play there too. The stories are continuing to grow through the various historical ages of Feyron and have just started to ripple outwards to the Worlds Beyond touched by magic. Legacy of Mist and Shadow is the first tale to venture to one of those worlds and has been awarded the BRAG Medallion by Indie BRAG. http://www.bragmedallion.com/about

A.L. (Alexandra) Butcher is the British author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles fantasy series, and several short stories in the fantasy and fantasy romance and horror genres. She is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet and a dreamer. When she is grounded in the real world she likes science, natural history, history, mythology and monkeys. She has a background in history and politics which are sometimes reflected in her work. Her books have been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative.

A Splendid Salmagundi was awarded the best anthology for Indie Book Bargains 2012.

Blog www.libraryoferana.wordpress.com

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/DarkFantasyBeyondTheStorm

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6430414.A_L_Butcher

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.talesfromfeyron.com/

Twitter https://twitter.com/FeyronTales

Tumblr http://feyrontales.tumblr.com/

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/talesfromfeyron

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/1424535612

Google+ https://plus.google.com/110082079094253485379

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Hop Aboard @CarolePRoman’s Spaceship and Travel to #Mars! #bookreview #kidlit


if-you-were-me-and-lived-on-mars

 

Title: If You Were Me and Lived on…Mars (If You Were Me and Lived in…) (Volume 21)

Author: Carole P. Roman (Author), Mateya Arkova (Illustrator)

Genre: Children’s Picture Books, Astronomy, Space

 

Book Blurb:

Join Carole P. Roman when she blasts off to colonize the planet Mars, in the newest book of her informative series. Learn about how life would be living on the Red Planet. Travel to Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in the solar system. Look into the sky and watch Phobos and Deimos, Mars’ two moons. Discover what you would wear, and how the seasons change. See Mars through the eyes of an adventurous youngster like you and understand what life is like in a trip of a lifetime. Don’t forget to look at the other books in the series so that you can be an armchair traveler.

 

My Review:

Ever wonder what life is like on Mars? Step aboard Carole P. Roman’s spaceship and travel to Mars. You’ll learn all sorts of fascinating facts including:

 

Mars and Earth have approximately the same amount of land. Earth appears larger but much of its surface is water.

 

The air on Mars is much thinner and has less oxygen so you’d have to wear a special suit when outside on Mars.

 

Mars has two moons orbiting around it. Phobos is the larger one and Deimos is smaller, both named after Greek gods.

 

Mars has summer and winter, just like Earth.

 

A year on Mars lasts 1.88 Earth years and a day on Mars is a little more than 24 hours.

 

This is such a fantastic book on astronomy and space. Perfect for children who are fascinated by space. There’s a lot of detail packed into this little book and it makes a great tool for both homeschool teachers and classroom teachers. Roman stays consistent with her series and shares facts children would be interested in while capturing children’s imaginations with bright, colorful illustrations. I’d recommend reading this aloud and having children ask questions.

 

Another brilliant book by one of my favorite children’s book authors!

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/If-You-Were-Lived-Mars/dp/1540869725

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33941064-if-you-were-me-and-lived-on-mars?ac=1&from_search=true

 

cpr

 

Author Biography:

Named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2012 for her first book, award winning author Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons. Using an imaginary game she played with her grandson as a base, Captain No Beard was born. “Captain No Beard- An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life” has not only been named to Kirkus Best of 2012, it received the Star of Exceptional Merit, and won the Pinnacle Award for 2012. “Pepper Parrot’s Problem with Patience” Book 2 in the series, received 5 Stars from The ForeWord Review The Clarion Review. Strangers on the High Seas has won second place in the Rebecca’s Reads Choice Awards 2013. It has followed with six more books to the series. This year, Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis was named to Kirkus Best 2015. The entire cultural non-fiction series If You Were Me and Lived in… was named Best Series by Shelf Unbound. She has begun work on two new series that will be released in early 2016.

 

Motivated by her love of yoga, Roman has written a book that not only teaches four poses, but shows how easy and accessible yoga can be.

 

 

Her new non-fiction series, “If You Were Me and Lived in…” combines her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us. The debut book in the series, “If You Were Me and Lived in…Mexico” has won the Pinnacle Award for Best in Children’s Non Fiction 2012. France, South Korea, and Norway. Rebecca’s Reads has given If You Were Me and Lived in…Norway an honorable mention in the 2013 Choice Awards. If You Were Me and lived in …France won second place. ForeWord Review has nominated If You Were Me and Lived in…France for best in children’s non fiction literature 2013. They will be followed with Kenya, Turkey, India, and Australia. She plans to do Portugal, Greece, and Argentina next year.

 

 

Writing for children has opened up a whole second act for her. While she is still working in her family business, this has enabled her to share her sense of humor as well as love for history and culture with the audience she adores. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://caroleproman.com/  

 

Blog http://caroleproman.blogspot.ca/  

 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CarolePRomanAwardWinningAuthorAndBooks  

 

Twitter https://twitter.com/caroleproman  

 

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/caroleproman/

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

The Spirit Well by @cyallowitz is a #Fantasy #FridayReads Gem! #bookreview #ASMSG


the-spirit-well-cover

 

Title: Legends of Windemere: The Spirit Well

Author: Charles E. Yallowitz

Genre: Sword & Sorcery, Epic Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

Born from the light and darkness, Dariana can no longer avoid her fate.

 

The final corrupted temple stands between the champions and Baron Kernaghan having their great battle. Only one problem: the Compass Key refuses to work with Dariana, who long ago wiped all memories of the Spirit Well from her mind. Now, they are forced to follow a trail of clues that Dariana’s former self left behind centuries ago. It is a path that will lead the champions into a part of their friend’s past that could tear them all apart.

 

Will the bonds of friendship be stronger than the call of blood?

 

My Review:

All is not as it appears in Windemere and the Champions are in for their greatest challenge. The final temple stands between them and the Baron. But before they get on their way, Nyx is at the receiving end of endless questions and accusations from her family concerning her relationship with her beloved. Are they married? When will they get married? Nyx’s temper flares and she returns to her lover’s arms for comfort.

 

The Champions band together and head to Rodillen then to the Spirit Well. The only problem is that Dariana’s memories are wiped clean (mysterious) and cannot remember where this final temple is located. When she asks the Mayor about it, she finds herself in a bind. Or is it all part of her plan?

 

Dariana’s father is the Baron and while she knows more than she lets on, her actions propel the Champions into a time where memories are fabricated and Luke is separated from the rest of the Champions. Is he dead? No one knows for sure. It takes the Champions working together as one to unravel the truth.

 

This book twisted my emotions and took me on an adventure I didn’t see coming. While Yallowitz drops clues along the way, when something big happens (won’t reveal what… you’ll have to read to find out), it was like the floor drops away. It was so shocking that I almost quit reading it. Almost. My curiosity kept me riveted to the story and the ending was even better than I could’ve hoped.

 

For all you fantasy romance readers out there, you’re in for a treat. Yallowitz adds the perfect blend of romance, intrigue, action and drama. I didn’t know the author was a romantic at heart. Well done!

 

If you’re a fan of The Two Towers, you’ll really love this book. It’s a standalone in the Windemere series with plenty of shocking twists and turns.

 

A must read for epic fantasy readers and if magic is more your thing, you’ll really love The Spirit Well.

 

My Rating:  4.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N2RQMA9/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33286494-the-spirit-well

 

charles-yallowitz

 

Author Biography:

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn’t working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. ‘Legends of Windemere’ is his first series, but it certainly won’t be his last.

 

Social Media Links:

Legends of Windemere Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
Tumblr
LinkedIn
Google+
Goodreads
Charles E. Yallowitz Website

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

“Scorching, Delicious Read” Vampire CEO: Part 3 by @erin_bedford #books #bookreview


vampire-ceo-part-3

 

Title: Vampire CEO: Part 3 (Vampire CEO Series)

Author: Erin Bedford

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Witches

 

Book Blurb:

This is part three in a three part series.

 

Even witch’s can bite…

 

With her mother sick Abigail finds herself back where she started, at the head of the New Orleans Coven. The new position and the pressure put on her by her fellow sisters is making Abigail wish for her human life and a certain vampire.

 

Sebastian has been quiet since she quit. No word, no note. It makes her wonder if he ever cared about her at all or if it was just her blood to begin with.

 

Things get heated when her coven pushes her to do more magic than she is comfortable with until she gets a distressing call from Midnight that forces her to confront Sebastian. Will she figure out her place in New Orleans or will it all end in pain?

 

My Review:

Of all the gin joints…

 

No matter how much Abigail tries to get away from Sebastian, he pops up everywhere. I guess that happens when you’re a 400-year-old vampire. Only this time, he’s setting fire to her body and nothing’s going to quench it except release.

 

But her relationship with Sebastian is put on the back-burner with her mother’s illness worsening. The coven asks Abigail to take her rightful place as high priestess and she can no longer run away from her destiny. Witches are convinced Abigail can heal her mother but can she? The dark voodoo power within her takes life; is there a way to reverse it? And what about Sebastian? Can a witch and vampire be together or are Abigail and Sebastian doomed?

 

WOW! What a fantastic completion to this series! Part 3 is sizzling hot with enough angst to keep you turning the page. Bedford rakes Abigail over the coals and it’s delicious to read Abigail’s journey from fear to acceptance. We all have a path to follow and love is never easy. The ending made my heart constrict and I’d love to read more in this paranormal world. Bedford grabs a hold of the reader and doesn’t let go!

 

Scorching hot romance, conflicted characters, fast-moving plot and a quick read! Pick up the full serial today and dive into the magical world of New Orleans.

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Vampire-CEO-Part-ebook/dp/B01N6QU7JJ/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33897875-vampire-ceo

 

Author Biography:

Erin Bedford is USA TODAY Bestselling author. She works as a computer programmer by day and is a hobby hoarder. She enjoys playing RPG games alongside her husband as well as inventing nonsensical games for her daughter’s amusement. Erin lives in the Omaha Nebraska Region and dreams of one day moving where the word snow is nonexistent.

Creating fantastical worlds have always been a secret passion of hers and she couldn’t imagine writing any story without some kind of lovey-dovey or smexy goodness in it.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.erinbedford.com/

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/erinrbedford

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/erin_bedford

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

The Road to Transition by Bree Record @pagepublishing #bookreview #trans #LGBTQ


the-road-to-transition

Title: The Road to Transition

Author: Bree Record

Genre: Memoir, Gender Transition Surgery, LGBTQ

 

Book Blurb:

The Road to Transition is my story, which was forty days in the telling and fifty-five years in the living; that is, if you can call existing living. It still amazes me how much you can lose without actually realizing it. Each lost piece takes on the worth exceeding that of the finest of golden treasures. I know because in the telling of this story, I discovered that.

 

The forty days are those that led up to my gender confirmation surgery. It was a time with as many ups and downs and gut-wrenching twists as the wildest of roller coasters. I tried to remain true to my journal, though at times I was sick and dizzy. I endeavored to bring to you the accurate portrait of what lay down The Road to Transition.

 

My Review:

The Road to Transition is the story of Bree and her compelling journey leading up to her gender confirmation surgery. Imagine the heartache, confusion, grief, anger, frustration, identity crisis, knowing you are female living in a male body. Then, and only then, are you able to understand what Bree went through in one day.

 

I am not transgendered nor have I ever been mistaken for a man, but from the moment I started reading Bree’s memoir, my mind fused with hers and felt all the turmoil and anxiety she went through. My heart broke for her so many times, I wanted to reach through my Kindle and give her a hug, tell her it was all going to be okay.

 

Bree takes us from the time she was born (Sarah) through her identity crisis (Steve) through the incredible process leading up to her surgery. Told in journal format, she holds nothing back. With clarity of mind, she describes in vivid detail the agony of her journey. Yet, she does it without blame. She doesn’t rail against her parents, family members, society or human prejudice. She’s the narrator in this memoir, sharing her experiences truthfully and the result is inspiring. To go through such darkness and grief only has result: reborn into the light.

 

This moving memoir will touch you in an emotional way and I highly recommend it! This is not just a memoir for the LGBTQ community but for all of humanity. Thank you, Bree, for being so brave in baring all so that we may understand what you went through and to show compassion to others who are going through it.

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author in the hopes I’d review it.

 

My Rating:  5+ stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M3MP78P

 

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/?ean=9781684092390

 

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9781684092406

 

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/search?Query=9781684092406

 

Google Play https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781684092406&c=books

 

Indigo (Canada) https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-road-to-transition/9781684092390-item.html

 

Publisher http://www.pagepublishing.com/books/?book=the-road-to-transition

 

Social Media Links:

Press Release http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/10/prweb13783449.htm

 

Contact the Publisher for all correspondence: https://www.pagepublishing.com

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

100 Insanely Good Recipes for Clean Food Made Fresh @ChefSamTalbot #bookreview #diabetes


100-real

 

Title: 100% Real: 100 Insanely Good Recipes for Clean Food Made Fresh

Author: Sam Talbot

Genre: Health, Mind & Body, Cooking, Food & Wine

 

Book Blurb:

Celebrated chef and healthy-living expert Sam Talbot shows us how to make wildly delicious, nourishing food–using healthy, wholesome ingredients.

 

Bursting with 100 whole-food recipes and down-to-earth advice about clean eating, this cookbook proves that eating 100% real food is an enjoyable choice you can make every day. Chef Sam Talbot’s nourishing dishes are overflowing with natural flavor and free of processed ingredients, questionable additives, sweeteners, or preservatives.

 

Packed with vibrant personality and more than 150 photos, this cookbook is a real-world guide to un-junking what we feed ourselves and our children. Sam explains how to find seasonal ingredients and offers tips on stocking your pantry with game changing ingredients, like coconut oil and chickpea flour.

 

Forget fat-free, low sodium, zero trans-fat, and the like–the hottest new food claim is not needing a claim at all. Eat. Real. Food.

 

My Review:

It’s time to get back to real food and Chef Sam Talbot has created an essential guidebook to help both professional and home cooks get 100% real. I was drawn to this book by the title first and then by Chef Sam’s story. He’s a Type 1 Diabetic and a fan-favorite from Bravo’s Top Chef. He knows food and knows what it means to pay close attention to what he puts on the plate. His philosophy is simple: strike a balance between what’s healthy for you and what you enjoy eating.

 

His five steps to keeping it real reaffirmed to me I’m 100% real. Check it out:

  • Eat plants and greens for real
  • Cook at home at least three times a week
  • Don’t eat fabricated or super processed food
  • Focus on FFP (Fat, Fiber and Protein Super Trio)
  • Find the fun in food; don’t be a judgemental jerk

 

Chef Sam then gives you some helpful tips on revamping your pantry, fridge and freezer. I related to this part because it wasn’t until I married a Chef (who’s now retired) that I understood how crucial it was to have a fully stocked pantry, including nuts, herbs and grains. This allows creativity in your food prep and you’re not having to go to the store every day. Herbs can turn an ordinary dish into the sublime.

 

The rest of his book is chockful of delicious, healthy recipes for every meal. I’ve tried a few and here are my favorites:

 

  • Ripe banana and dark chocolate pancakes with maple syrup and coconut cream
  • White bean and cilantro hummus
  • Mini falafel pocket sandwiches
  • Savory corn cake fritters
  • Sweet and spicy pork on coconut rice
  • Apples foster with coconut and whisky caramel

 

I highly recommend this cookbook, even if you don’t have diabetes in your family. It’s time to get real about food and support our local farmers. It’s a win-win all around!

 

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from Oxmoor House (Time Inc. Books) via Netgalley in the hopes I’d review it.

 

My Rating:  5 +stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/100-Real-Insanely-Recipes-Clean-ebook/dp/B01NBKBUZG

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31423318-100-real

 

Author Biography:

Sam Talbot is a chef, author, philanthropist and TV personality. A fan-favorite on Bravo’s Top Chef, Talbot was the founding Executive Chef of the Surf Lodge in Montauk, NY and Imperial No. Nine at the Mondrian SoHo. He is the chef and owner of Pretty Southern restaurant in Brooklyn, NY and a co-founder of Beyond Type 1, a non-profit organization focusing on the diabetes community.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.samtalbot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChefSamTalbot?lang=en

Publisher Facebook Time Inc. Books Facebook

Publisher Twitter Time Inc. Books Twitter

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Tales of the Faie by Diana L. Wicker @FeyronTales is a Fantastic #FridayReads! #SFF #YA


tales-of-the-faie

 

Title: Tales of the Faie: The Beginning of Days (Tales from Feyron – The Ripples of Power)

Author: Diana L. Wicker

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

Every culture has fairy tales, the tales of legend and lore that children hear at bedtime that teach lessons of history and morality, the little bits of truth that keep a culture whole. The Realm of Feyron is no different. Join the youth as they listen to the tales of the beginning days of the Faie.

 

My Review:

“Every culture has fairy takes, the tales of legend and lore that children hear at bedtime…”

 

After completing her bestselling young adult fantasy series, Diana L. Wicker takes us back in time, to the beginning of the Realm of Feyron. Told through the Storyteller as campfire tales, we learn how each of the six Guardians came to be as well as some mythical occurrences (Tree of Life, the Mists, Crystal Tears and the Crystal Barge). While each story is short, their impact is huge.

 

I really enjoyed this collection of tales from the mythical world of Feyron. Fairy tales, no matter where you reside (real or imagined), are meant to teach morality and culture. Wicker takes the world she’s already created and delves into the Beginning. Her talent for immersing the reader in her world with rich and descriptive language is second to none. Like fantasy authors of the past, she transports you to Feyron and you find yourself wanting to stick around.

 

Now, if you haven’t read any of the Feyron series, this is a great place to start. You get a chance to hear the tales directly from the Storyteller and be introduced to the Realm of Feyron. I highly recommend it!

 

If you’re like me and a fan of all things fantasy, pick up this collection today. You’ll savor each story, like a delicious indulgence.

 

Disclaimer: I received an e-copy from the author in the hopes that I’d review it.

 

My Rating: 5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Faie-Beginning-Feyron-Ripples-ebook/dp/B01M5G1V1W

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32789386-tales-of-the-faie

 

Diana Wicker

 

Author Biography:

Diana is an indie author living in the balmy climate of the US south with her family and fur babies (a dog, a cat, and a cantankerous rabbit). She enjoys reading, sewing, cosplay, being a studio mom for dance school, and RPG games. (She grew up with the old school paper/pencil style of gaming, but has transitioned happily to the highly interactive world of video games.) And, as if she had more time to spare, she has invested in Asian ball jointed dolls to customize into characters from Feyron.

 

The idea for Feyron started with a map, a place for her daughter to tell stories and live out storytelling role-playing adventures with her friends. The lore grew around the map, for every world needs lore if you are going to “live” there. The idea for a series, Tales from Feyron, grew out of the lore, for if you’re going to invent a world, you may as well play there too. The stories are continuing to grow through the various historical ages of Feyron and have just started to ripple outwards to the Worlds Beyond touched by magic. Legacy of Mist and Shadow is the first tale to venture to one of those worlds and has been awarded the BRAG Medallion by Indie BRAG. http://www.bragmedallion.com/about

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.talesfromfeyron.com/

Twitter https://twitter.com/FeyronTales

Tumblr http://feyrontales.tumblr.com/

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/talesfromfeyron

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/1424535612

Google+ https://plus.google.com/110082079094253485379

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Strong is the New Pretty by @ktparkerphoto #bookreview #books #photography


strong-is-the-new-pretty

 

Title: Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves

Author: Kate T. Parker

Genre: Arts & Photography, Nonfiction (Adult)

 

Book Blurb:

Girls being fearless. Girls being silly. Girls being wild, stubborn, and proud. Girls whose faces are smeared with dirt and lit up with joy. So simple and yet so powerful, Strong Is the New Pretty celebrates, through more than 175 memorable photographs, the strength and spirit of girls being 100% themselves.

 

Real beauty isn’t about being a certain size, acting a certain way, wearing the right clothes, or having your hair done (or even brushed). Real beauty is about being your authentic self and owning it. Kate T. Parker is a professional photographer who finds the real beauty in girls, capturing it for all the world to see in candid and arresting images.

 

A celebration, a catalog of spirit in words and smiles, an affirmation of the fact that it’s what’s inside you that counts, Strong Is the New Pretty conveys a powerful message for every girl, for every mother and father of a girl, for every coach and mentor and teacher, for everyone in the village that it takes to raise a strong and self-confident person.

 

My Review:

Strong is the New Pretty is girl power exemplified. Girls from all ages, races, sexuality and walks of life talking about strength, power and what it means to be pretty. In it are over 175 photographs and quotes meant to showcase natural girls doing what they love to do: be themselves.

 

I loved this book! I wished I had this book when I was growing up, especially in my teens. I was bullied at school for being not rail-thin and marching to my own drum. I sure could’ve used this book to boost up my self-esteem.

 

Professional photographer Kate T. Parker envisioned this book project as a way to unite girls and inspire them to be who they are, no matter what. Her eye for capturing real beauty in these girls is breath-taking. Well done, Parker!

 

I highly recommend this book to every girl, woman, parent, grandparent and friend! Its profound message needs to be taught to girls around the world. It certainly inspired me and I have already ordered my copy.

 

Watch out world, strong is the new pretty!

 

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from Workman Publishing Company and Netgalley in the hopes I’d review it.

 

Favorite Quote:

“Being mentally strong is ten times harder than being physically strong. Mental stamina does not come from the muscles or from training. It comes from the heart…and from the mind. Calling on my heart is far more difficult than calling on my muscles.”

 

My Rating:  5+ stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Strong-New-Pretty-Celebration-Themselves/dp/1523500689

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30754027-strong-is-the-new-pretty

 

Author Biography:

KATE T. PARKER is a mother, wife, former collegiate soccer player, Ironman, and professional photographer who shoots both fine art projects and commercial work for clients across North America. Her Strong Is the New Pretty photo series has led to collaborations with brands like Athleta, Kellogg’s, Oxygen, and Girls on the Run. The project has also inspired Kate to launch a philanthropic arm of Strong Is the New Pretty, partnering with organizations that invest in girls’ health and education. When she’s not photographing, she can be found coaching her daughters’ soccer teams. She lives with her family in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

Social Media Links:

Website https://www.katetparker.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/katetparkerphotography

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/katetparker/

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/katetparker/

Twitter https://twitter.com/ktparkerphoto

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

“I’m a Junkie and Can’t Get Enough” Vampire CEO Part 2 by @Erin_Bedford #paranormalromance


vampire-ceo-part-two

 

Title: Vampire CEO: Part 2 (Vampire CEO Series)

Author: Erin Bedford

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Witches

 

Book Blurb:

This is part two of a three-part series.

 

The witch is out of the bag now…

 

With a vampire boss and an overwhelming attraction to him, Abigail’s new job has become more than she can handle. The parts of herself that she thought were gone have resurfaced and now not even she knows what will happen next.

 

Sebastian is becoming more to her than just a boss and she has to decide will she stay with him or go? The smarter option would be to leave but when has she ever been smart?

 

Part three coming February 13th!

 

My Review:

I’m a junkie for this series. After reading book one, I went through withdrawal symptoms waiting for part two to come out. I tried to be patient but you know how it is when you become so attached to a book series, patience goes out the window. I fantasized various scenarios (some outlandish, most super-sexy) and when I finally read part two (in one sitting), Erin Bedford blew my freakin’ mind!

 

Part two picks up the morning after where part one leaves off. Abigail is in her apartment reliving what happened the night before. She knows she needs to tell her mother what happened before the High Priestess hears it from someone else. But she might be too late as her mother is gravely ill. Grief-stricken and not feeling up to facing her sex-on-a-stick boss, Sebastian, she calls in sick. Several HOT encounters between Sebastian (on the couch, in the office, in a darkened alleyway) only reaffirms Abigail’s decision to find another job.

 

Meanwhile her witchy friend, Rebecca, gets drunk and Abigail gets a call from the bartender asking for help. Even though it’s 3 am, she’s gotta go and rescue several beefy bouncers and bartenders from a single petite female who happens to be a powerful witch. (Best scene ever!) Abbie to the rescue and on her way out the door, she asks about a job at the club. A waitressing job is better than working so closely with Sebastian.

 

Abigail’s backsliding in part one has opened the door to the darkness inside her and she’s finding it harder and harder to resist. Sebastian feeds her desire and if she loses total control, there won’t be anything left of Abigail, much less those she loves. But when she goes to the waitressing interview, all reason leaves her.

 

WOW! I loved this part even more than part one. Filled with a lot more smexy interaction between Abigail and Sebastian (no, I won’t give you any spoilers), the stakes couldn’t be higher for Abigail. Her mother’s illness, Sebastian’s coolness then boiling hot behavior leaves her bewildered, not to mention giving into temptation. A witch and a vampire? What happens when he sinks his fangs into her?

 

Gimme more, Erin Bedford! Counting the days until part three comes out.

 

Favorite Character: Abigail. I understood her pain as she’s dealing with a lot. If her mother dies, will she ascend as High Priestess? Even though there’s some in the coven who despise her? And what about Sebastian and her dark fantasies about him sinking his fangs into her while they have sex? Mmm, deliciously dark and seductive.

 

Favorite Quote: “Then you have to keep your mouth and fangs to yourself!” she jumped up from the couch, not minding the blanket that fell to the floor.

 

 

My Rating:  5+ stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Vampire-CEO-Part-ebook/dp/B01MS7BDA7

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33897874-vampire-ceo

 

Author Biography:

Erin Bedford is USA TODAY Bestselling author. She works as a computer programmer by day and is a hobby hoarder. She enjoys playing RPG games alongside her husband as well as inventing nonsensical games for her daughter’s amusement. Erin lives in the Omaha Nebraska Region and dreams of one day moving where the word snow is nonexistent.

Creating fantastical worlds have always been a secret passion of hers and she couldn’t imagine writing any story without some kind of lovey-dovey or smexy goodness in it.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.erinbedford.com/

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/erinrbedford

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/erin_bedford

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

The Beauty of the Fall by @marcellor is Profound #bookreview #books #TuesdayBookBlog


the-beauty-of-the-fall

Title: The Beauty of the Fall: A Novel

Author: Rich Marcello

Genre: Literary Fiction, Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

A TECHNOLOGY EXECUTIVE CHARTS A HIGH-RISK, UNCONVENTIONAL PATH WHILE GRIEVING THE LOSS OF HIS SON

 

Dan Underlight, a divorced, workaholic technology executive, suffers lingering grief over the death of his ten-year-old son, Zack. When Dan’s longtime friend and boss fires Dan from RadioRadio, the company that he helped create, he crashes and isolates himself.

 

Willow, a poet and domestic violence survivor, helps Dan regain his footing. With her support, Dan ventures on a pilgrimage of sorts, visiting Fortune 500 companies to flesh out a software start-up idea. He then recruits three former RadioRadio colleagues and starts Conversationworks, a company he believes will be at the vanguard of social change.

 

Guided by Dan’s leadership, Conversationworks enjoys some early successes, but its existence is soon threatened on multiple fronts. Will Dan survive the ensuing corporate battles and realize the potential of his company? Or will he be defeated by his enemies and consumed by his grief?

 

My Review:

A book that resonated with me on a personal level a number of times.  For what was the first 25% I simply loved the book. It was wonderful and I thought it was just going to be a smooth sailing book about a guy who got knocked down but ended up happy back on his feet.  There is much more to this book than meets the eye.

 

The author weaves a lengthy tale about a troubled soul named Dan.  The character suffers loss after loss after loss after loss and gets about as far down as Job could before finding his path.  But I also believe there is a deeper message in this book.

 

This is an incredibly well written book that teaches people the desperate need for the passing of the ERA and focuses a bright spotlight on the horror that is domestic violence.  This book shows a fictional way that both of these critical issues can be helped.  if only this book could be taken as a guide for modern day America then we could have positive movement in passing the ERA and ending the blight of cowardly men who are so gutless that they raise their hand against a woman.

 

Personally, this book struck home with two passages.  The first trifecta of loss that Dan suffers – his divorce, the death of his son and his loss of work…When I was a very young man I lost my Father, the loss of my school year and the loss of my love.  This kind of loss isn’t easily conceived if someone hasn’t faced it personally.

 

Further, there was a scene where Dan defended a woman being beaten by beating the coward who beat her and at that time the woman then defended her coward boyfriend.  The same thing happened to me last century when I witnessed a man punch his girlfriend and I decked him and was then struck with a purse for ‘hurting her boyfriend’.  This gave me quite a kinship to Dan.

 

This is a hard read but it carries a deep and powerful message and should be read by everyone, everywhere.

 

My Rating:  4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Beauty-Fall-Novel-Rich-Marcello-ebook/dp/B01MFCTYYW/

 

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-beauty-of-the-fall-rich-marcello/1125005129?ean=2940157107680

 

iBooks https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1169546426

 

Buy Direct from Author https://secure.mybookorders.com/order/rich-marcello

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32711997-the-beauty-of-the-fall

 

Author Biography:

Rich is a poet, a songwriter and musician, a creative writing teacher at Seven Bridges’ Writer Collaborative, and the author of three novels, The Color of Home, The Big Wide Calm, and The Beauty of the Fall. Previously, he enjoyed a successful career as a technology executive, managing several multi-billion dollar businesses for Fortune 500 companies.

 

The Color of Home was published in 2013 by Langdon Street Press, and melds together honest generative dialogue, poetic sensory detail, and “unforgettable characters who seem to know the complete song catalog of Lennon or Cohen.” The Big Wide Calm was published in 2014, also by Langdon Street Press. The US Review of Books stated, “Marcello’s novel has a lot going for it. Well-written, thought-provoking, and filled with flawed characters, it meets all of the basic requirements of best-of-show in the literary fiction category.” The Beauty of the Fall will be published in 2016. Faulkner Award Winner Mark Spencer commented, “Few novels are as intelligent and relevant as The Beauty of the Fall. Almost none is as eloquent, compelling, heartbreaking, and ultimately, uplifting.”

 

As anyone who has read Rich’s work can tell you, his books deal with life’s big questions: love, loss, creativity, community, aging, self-discovery. His novels are rich with characters and ideas, crafted by a natural storyteller, with the eye and the ear of a poet.

 

For Rich, writing and art making is about connection, or as he says, about making a difference to a least one other person in the world, something he has clearly achieved many times over, both as an artist, a mentor, and a teacher.

 

Rich lives in Massachusetts on a lake with his family and two Newfoundlands, Ani and Shaman. He is currently working on his fourth novel, The Latecomers.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.richmarcello.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/rich.marcello.3

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/marcellor

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/rich-marcello-4198739

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/rich.marcello/

Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/marcellorich

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

“Intoxicating and Swoon-Worthy” The Highlander’s English Woman by @RuthACasie #romance


thehighlandersenglishwoman300-1

 

Title: The Highlander’s English Woman

Author: Ruth A. Casie

Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance

 

Book Blurb:

Laura Reynolds is in love with her long-time friend, Jamie Maxwell Collins. She adores his playful sense of humor, caring nature as well as his strong sense of family and honor.

Jamie lives across the border in Scotland. Outwardly carefree, he hides a dark secret. He can’t involve Laura in this deception. He can’t give her hope for a future together.

Laura stumbles upon Jamie’s secret. In her heart of hearts she knows Jamie is innocent. Their relationship in tatters and with no hope of reconciliation, she plays a deadly game to exonerate Jamie, she agrees to a political marriage. She has no idea the entire game has been orchestrated by her future husband, Jamie’s greatest enemy.

 

My Review:

Betrayal. Deception. Love. Power. Something is amiss and The Maxwell calls on his most trusted warrior, Jamie Maxwell Collins, to root out the perpetrators before The Maxwell Ghost strikes again.

 

In the continuation of the short story, The Maxwell Ghost, Ruth A. Casie tells the complete story of Laura, Jamie and the ghost(s) haunting the castle of The Maxwell. If you read The Maxwell Ghost, you’ll be familiar with the first part of this book. But please don’t skip the first half of the story. Casie adds intricate detail to the original story and trust me, it’s worth a re-read. It’ll suck you into Laura’s and Jamie’s romance as well as what else is happening.

 

Back to the story…

 

Laura agrees to accompany Jamie, on her mother’s behalf, to help the restless spirits before their time is up. She, like her mother and sister, have certain “gifts” and she knows she can right the wrong. But all is not as it appears to be and it may be Laura the hidden villain is after, not The Maxwell.

 

Jamie knows he must end things with Laura because his enemy is vicious and would think nothing of torturing Jamie through Laura. So, he makes a clean break and shatters Laura’s heart, although his pain is much worse than hers. He goes undercover to uncover the plot against The Maxwell and even goes so far as to “pretend” to be in love with one of women associated with the plot to overthrow The Maxwell.

 

Laura, in an effort to get over Jamie, befriends an old friend who falls in love with her. He proposes marriage and seeing no other choice, aligns herself into a political marriage. Laura is playing a deadly game and all those she loves may pay the consequences. Can Jamie save her or is all lost?

 

I loved this historical romance and while it was written years after The Guardian’s Witch, this prequel’s continuity is exceptional. Casie blends the supernatural with historically accurate romance with precision and flair. The plot has several twists and surprises (I won’t reveal any here) which I wasn’t expecting. The monk scene is priceless!

 

If you’re a fan of historical medieval romance set in both Scotland and England with dashes of the supernatural, pick up this book right now! It’s a gem and I highly recommend it! Can’t wait for the next installment in the Stelton Legacy by Ruth A. Casie!

 

This is a standalone, as is The Guardian’s Witch, but I recommend you read this first.

 

Favorite Character: Laura. Strong, independent and full of passion, Laura knows what she wants and goes after it. She’s in love with her childhood friend, Jamie, and when he pushes her away for another woman, her pain is acute.

 

Favorite Quote:

He kissed her fingertips. “I thought I lost you forever.”

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon/Kindle: https://amzn.com/B01LXYHNGS

 

Amazon Print: http://a.co/am0MfIq

 

iBook: http://apple.co/2eddatE

 

BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-highlanders-english-woman-ruth-a-casie/1125365584?ean=2940157490539

 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-highlander-s-english-woman

 

Ruth A Casie close

 

Author Biography:

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. The Guardian’s Witch, part of the Stelton Legacy series was a Reader’s Crown Finalist. Ruth also writes contemporary romance in the Havenport series with enough action to keep you turning pages. Ruth lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she started writing time travel romance, she was a speech therapist, international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing time travel romance. For more information, please visit www.RuthACasie.com or visit her on Facebook, @RuthACasie, Twitter, @RuthACasie, or Pinterest RuthACasie.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http:// www.ruthacasie.com

 

Personal Blog:  http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com

 

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+RuthSeitelman

 

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/RuthACasie

 

FB Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie

 

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ruth-seitelman/6/6b7/964

 

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ruthacasie/

 

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4792909.Ruth_A_Casie

 

Reviewed by: Mrs N

Paper Love by @Aubreywynne51 is a Delightful Sweet #Romance! #bookreview


paper-love

 

Title: Paper Love (A Chicago Christmas Book 2)

Author: Aubrey Wynne

Genre: Holiday Fiction, Holiday Romance

 

Book Blurb:

Growing up in a Papua New Guinea mission, Joss Palmateer is a gentle soul with a unique view of life. Still adjusting to a new home in the U.S and the sudden loss of her mother, love is the last thing on her mind.

 

Sexy physical therapist, Ben Montgomery, meets his sister’s friend and the sparks fly. He takes it as a challenge when she ignores his advances, but it’s her extraordinary inner beauty that captures his heart.

 

With the help of a stray homing pigeon and an old origami legend, Ben sets an unwavering course of romance to win her love.

 

My Review:

Still grieving the loss of her mother, Joss Palmateer has no interest in going out and meeting people but her best friend, Becky, keeps asking her to come to Ben’s (Becky’s brother) Friday Single Parties. Joss mentions it on a whim before dinner to her sister (who wants to go) so they decide to attend. Once at the party, shy Joss meets Ben and the attraction is immediate. He asks her out but she politely says no. She’s still getting over the betrayal of her ex-boyfriend.

 

 

Ben Montgomery takes one look into Joss’ chocolate brown eyes and is smitten. Her no is a challenge for him and he does everything he can to win her heart, thanks to the help of a lost pigeon named Charlie. He’s charming, outgoing and it’s not until he shows an insecure part of himself that Joss lets down the walls protecting her heart.

 

 

A sweet romance from Aubrey Wynne and just what I needed after a hard week. From the moment I read the first sentence, I had warm-fuzzy thoughts fill me. See, I’m a total romantic and Paper Love is one of those feel-good romances that makes the world fade away. I loved the banter between Joss and Ben, Ben and Becky, not to mention between Ben and Charlie the Pigeon. While this is short story, the main characters were fully developed.

 

It was refreshing to read a romance where there wasn’t any billionaires, serious angst and so forth. This is just a sweet romance, taking place during the holiday season, with real people (like you and me) trying to figure out what they want out of life and falling in love. Brilliant! I swooned at Ben’s romantic side. I cried a little at Joss’ grief and struggling to move on past her mother’s death. The ending moved me so much I had to text my husband and tell him I love him.

 

1-click this book right now (and the whole series). You’re in for a treat!

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author (via Netgalley) in the hopes I’d review it.

 

 

Favorite Character: It was hard to choose between Joss and Ben, as I loved them both, but I could relate with Joss more than Ben. Her caution when it comes to love and men in general made total sense, given her previous boyfriend (jerk that he is). I found myself nodding my head in agreement with her, most of the time, and the urge to hug her at certain moments in the book was overwhelming.

 

Favorite Quote: “Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are…”

 

My Rating:  5+ stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Paper-Love-Chicago-Christmas-Book-ebook/dp/B01M9CCE5O/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31821220-paper-love

 

Aubrey Wynne

 

Author Biography:

Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trailriding and all things Christmas. Her short stories, Merry Christmas, Henry and Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies have won Readers Choice Awards and Dante’s Gift received the 2016 Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, and Heart of Excellence award, as well as being a Maggie and Aspen Gold finalist. Besides her Chicago Christmas novellas, Aubrey will release “A Vintage Romance” series inspired by tales of her stepfather, who served for the British Air Force in WWII. The stories will be set in the 40s & 50s. Her medieval fantasy series will launch in 2017 with Rolf’s Quest.

 

Social Media Links:

Website https://aubreywynneauthor.com/

Blog https://aubreywynneauthor.com/blog/

Twitter https://twitter.com/Aubreywynne51

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Something (Wisteria #1) by @creepyshelby is #Horror at its Best! #bookreview #books


something

 

Title: Something (Wisteria #1)

Author: Shelby Lamb

Genre: New Adult, Horror

 

Book Blurb:

“I will find true love and everything will be okay. I will find true love and everything will be okay…” she chanted.

 

They say be careful what you read. Something is wrong. Something is very wrong. It can happen to anyone. This is just four teenagers’ story. Aubrey Golding hates her face, her body, and is devastated after Nathan Silva leaves her. Alone, suicidal, and desperate for love, she discovers a book called Something and unknowingly links others to a dark and terrifying curse that is beginning to consume her. Nathan is glad to be moving on with someone new and can hardly believe what is happening now. Wild child and amateur porn star, Bella Broadhurst, loves bullying that “emo whore” Aubrey with the other girls, but mostly she loves partying, hookups, and plain ol’ drama when terror arises. And Kendra Coke is just a new teen mother working on a delicate relationship when things start becoming utterly bizarre. Chilling sleep disturbances and figures hiding in the corners of their rooms are just warnings of what is to come. Be careful what you read, they say. Tread carefully….

 

My Review:

A dark, disturbing tale dealing everything from suicide, drugs, occult, bullying, love and romance, teenage motherhood and more. Graphic scenes, so be warned. I’d recommend it for 16+ readers.

 

What happens when one woman (Aubrey) stumbles across a cursed book titled Something? She reads it and passes it along to others. Something is out there and Something is out to get you. Be careful what you read…

 

Something (Wisteria #1) is one of those books where I hated every character. From Aubrey who’s suicidal and cuts herself to Nathan who’s a self-obsessed jerk to Bella who bullies Aubrey to poor Kendra who’s struggling with motherhood… I didn’t find a redeeming quality in any of them. But then, that’s the point, I think. Lamb’s shifted alarming societal issues to the characteristics of the four teenagers and given them life.

 

Extremely well-written and almost gothic in nature, Something (Wisteria #1) is horror at its best. While Lamb borrows heavily from the movie, The Ring, she puts her own spin on it. Reading could kill you? You bet! Horror doesn’t get any scarier than books out to murder people.

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author in the hopes I’d review it.

 

My Rating:  4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Something-Wisteria-1-Shelby-Lamb/dp/0988131226

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31565981-something

 

Author Biography:

Shelby Lamb is an author who loves exploring the weird and unsettling. She writes fiction from her own personal life experiences and from the depths of her imagination and the inspiration around her. Something (Wisteria 1) is her debut work. She lives in Toronto, Canada.

 

Social Media Links:

Website/Blog  http://creepyshelby.blogspot.ca/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/creepy.shelby/

Twitter https://twitter.com/creepyshelby

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Edna and Luna by @GPwriterartist Celebrates Women with Humor and Grace #bookreview


edna-luna-ebook-cov_1

 

Title: Edna and Luna

Author: Gleah Powers

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Metaphysical Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

Set in the American Southwest, ‘Edna & Luna’ is the story of two women: a lonely, recently widowed eccentric, and a much younger new age healer. Facing old age and a hysterectomy, Edna, at 70, reminisces and ruminates about her losses as she makes unsuccessful attempts to start a new life. She tries to befriend her hairdresser, her gardener, and a man she meets at a senior dance who makes sexual advances in the swimming pool. Luna, at 35, ridiculed since childhood for her unorthodox gift of healing, has left a violent husband before moving to a local trailer park. Despite Edna’s initial suspicions that Luna is both out of her mind and after her money, their relationship becomes an odyssey filled with unpredictable depths and discoveries for both women.

 

My Review:

Two women, Edna and Luna, forge an unlikely friendship and traverse through life’s ups and downs. Edna is dealing with life in the Southwest as a widow and it’s much more difficult than even her country club friends realize. Luna is a mid-thirties new age healer dealing with her own form of isolation. A chance meeting at the grocery store changes their lives forever.

 

Two strong, independent women are front and center in Edna and Luna, which delights me. No hair-pulling, no back-stabbing, just two women trying to figure out this crazy thing called life. Told in dual POV, each chapter unveils a snapshot of Edna’s or Luna’s life. From the mundane (grocery shopping for one) to the poignant (miscarriage), the reader befriends both women at the same time. The metaphysical sub-plot added a mystique to the story which gave it an almost ethereal backdrop.

 

Women’s Fiction is not just about dating and romance, it’s about women and journeying through life. Edna and Luna made me laugh, cry, nod my head in agreement and form a bond with the characters. Powers is truly gifted in sharing the female experience (pregnancy to miscarriage to menopause) with humor and grace.

 

A must read!

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author in the hopes I’d review it.

 

Favorite Character: Edna. She’s a quirky character with definite beliefs and morals. Upon first meeting Luna, she thinks Luna’s a nutcase but as time goes on and the Universe keeps putting them together, Edna realizes Luna may just be the friend she’s always needed. Dealing with living as a widow is a challenge for Edna and I loved her shock when her handyman tries to kiss her. She’s one in a million and I wanted to reach into the book and hug her.

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Edna-Luna-Gleah-Powers-ebook/dp/B01L2KOAF2

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30847563-edna-and-luna

 

Author Biography:

Born in Chicago and raised and educated in the American Southwest, Gleah Powers has led a life by turns grounded and nomadic-a perfect preparation for discovering in herself the voices of Edna and Luna. In her early teens, she lived with her grandmother in Phoenix. At 18, she traveled with the production of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point. (Antonioni, suffering from insomnia, liked that Gleah was a worthy opponent at cards. She even taught him to play gin rummy.) Thereafter she studied art in Mexico City and at Cal Arts in Los Angeles; moved to New York where she worked as an actor, model, bartender and administrative assistant to a wealthy philanthropist; and became an explorer and teacher of alternative therapies. These adventures will be detailed in the memoir she is currently writing. Edna and Luna is her first novel. Visit her website at: www.gleahpowers.com

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/gleah.powers

Twitter https://twitter.com/GPwriterartist

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/gleahpowers

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk is a Superbly Woven Tale #bookreview #books


war-and-remembrance

 

Title: War and Remembrance

Author: Herman Wouk

Genre: Historical Fiction, Classical Literature

 

Book Blurb:

Herman Wouk’s sweeping epic of World War II, which begins with The Winds of War and continues here in War and Remembrance, stands as the crowning achievement of one of America’s most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk’s spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events – and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II – as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war’s maelstrom.

 

My Review:

What a superbly woven tale.  Authors need to review the great works of Wouk when they are trying to tie together a vast number of story lines and a vast number of characters.  I first came to know this story in the incredible mini series that ran in 1988.  I then got this book and the story just captivates as it tells the story of the Henry and Jastrow families.  The ‘history of World War 2’ intro sections can drag a touch but is done in a way to fill in to the non-historical reader the basic facts of the War during each period.  I love the book and highly recommend it as a super read and as a tool for authors who wish to weave complicated stories.  This is how you do it.

 

 

My Rating:  4.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/War-Remembrance-Herman-Wouk-ebook/dp/B0033UT24E

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42986.War_and_Remembrance?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Author Biography:

Herman Wouk earned his living as a scriptwriter for Fred Allen before serving in World War II. His career as a novelist spans nearly six decades and has brought him resounding international acclaim. He lives in Palm Springs, California.

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N